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This is a new website. Over the coming months we will be adding content to do with humane philosophy, and tracking the activities of the Humane Philosophy Project.

Aims of the Humane Philosophy Project

The Humane Philosophy Project seeks to bring academic philosophy to bear on human concerns, and to re-establish the connection between philosophy and broader human culture.

There are at least three respects in which philosophy at the turn of the last century might be considered a humane discipline. First, a deep connection was felt to exist between philosophy and the arts, as activities which express and speak to human concerns. Secondly, the dominant metaphysical outlook of the time—variants on the tradition of German Idealism—was geared up to place the human person and her concerns at the centre of the philosophical cosmos. Thirdly, despite the unquestionable successes of the physical sciences over the previous two centuries, scientific enquiry was typically considered one ally amongst many, and did not obscure other sources of philosophical insight.

A number of thinkers have strived to preserve the humane character of the dicipline of philosophy over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Commentators have nonetheless identified various antithetical developments in this period. These include the fragmentation of philosophical enquiry into a number of specialisms more or less sealed off from one another and from the wider arts and humanities; a narrowing and jargonising of philosophical language; the prevelance of reductionist and deconstructive approaches to human persons; and the emergence of a wide consensus according to which scientific naturalism offers the only serious guide to philosophical enquiry, having outmoded or debunked other philosophical perspectives.

The Humane Philosophy Project aims to redress the lack of humane bearing that is characteristic of contemporary academic philosophy. The Project brings together thinkers from diverse fields making contributions to a range of topics. Research and discussion is at present organised around three central areas: Humane Philosophy and the Arts; Humane Philosophy and Human Nature; and Humane Philosophy and Scientism. Without discounting the genuine achievements of twentieth century philosophy, the Humane Philosophy Project seeks to return philosophical enquiry to a breadth of scope, independence, and relevance to human persons whose want is obviously to be regretted.

Ralph Stefan Weir & Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode

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